Ram truck brand CEO Fred Diaz wasn't giving out a price, but he admitted the new Ram Laramie Longhorn special edition pickup would be the most expensive truck ever in the history of Dodge or Ram trucks.
The new Laramie Longhorn luxury pickup will arrive in dealerships in the first quarter of 2011, Diaz told journalists via a webcast from the State Fair of Texas in Dallas today.
Asked if the Laramie Longhorn would be Chrysler's most expensive pickup ever, Diaz responded: “Yes. The vehicle will naturally be priced commensurate with its premium luxury and features.”
He said pricing would be announced closer to the market launch. “The Ram Laramie Longhorn edition is going to share the driveway with some fine luxury cars,” Diaz said in a prepared statement.
Edmunds.com lists the price of a top-of-the-line Laredo model at $42,650, without destination, making it the most expensive 2011 Ram pickup now.
Chrysler has high hopes for sales of the Laramie Longhorn model.
“The market is strong, as evidenced by the success of our Ram Laramie model,” Diaz said. “The Laramie is currently 25% of our Ram sales, a strong indication that truck buyers are looking for premium trucks.”
“We are expecting the Laramie Longhorn to be 6 to 10 percent of our sales” of 1500, 2500 and 3500 Ram models.
Ram will offer the Laramie Longhorn editions in 1500 (half ton), 2500 HD (3/4 ton) and 3500 HD (one ton). The 3500 version will be offered with single or dual rear wheels.
Ryan Nagode, Ram chief designer, said the new truck's design inspirations came from “traditionally handcrafted, time-tested wares, such as the antique pocket watch, a fine pair of hand-tooled leather cowboy boots, a collector's grade shotgun or horseman's saddle.”
The truck features some interior trim that could come right out of a western movie, including leather map pockets on the back of the front seats that are closed with ornate silver belt buckles with a steer logo and a magnetic clasp.
The instrument cluster “takes on the appearance of hand-wrought jewelry with six liquid chrome gauge rings.” The two largest gauges have a “coined inner edge and filigrees engraved on the top surface.”
Other touches include a stitched leather Laramie Longhorn badge on the front seat. Buyers who choose the “bark brown” leather seats will get “laser etched filigrees” that look as though they were burned into the leather by hand.
Ram officials did not say what engines will be offered, but other Ram 1500 models are available with a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8. Heavy duty buyers can get the Hemi or a 6.7-liter, I-6 Cummins Turbo Diesel.
The Laramie Longhorn will play in the luxury pickup segment against competitors like the Ford F150 King Ranch and the GMC Sierra Denali.
Ram full-size pickup sales totaled 124,002 for the first eight months of 2010, down from 129,753 during the first eight months of 2009.